The text/nfo Media Type

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Last updated 2017-11-14
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Network Working Group                                         S. Leonard
Internet-Draft                                             Penango, Inc.
Intended Status: Informational                         November 15, 2017
Expires: May 19, 2018                                                   

                        The text/nfo Media Type


   This document registers the text/nfo media type for use with release
   iNFOrmation. While compatible with text/plain, ".NFO" files and
   content have distinguishing characteristics from typical plain text
   because they are meant to be output to IBM PC-compatible system
   consoles that support certain "ANSI" escape sequences.

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Leonard                    Exp. May 19, 2018                    [Page 1]
Internet-Draft                iNFOrmation                  November 2017

1. iNFOrmation

   Packagers of files or other bundled content commonly include a common
   human-readable manifest that describes their packages. While an
   obvious solution is to include a README, in an archive such as a ZIP
   file, READMEs are generally written for software applications and
   provide late-breaking instructions on how to configure and install
   the software, along with known bugs and changelogs. (Plain) text
   READMEs are also generally limited to printable US-ASCII characters.

   Starting from circa 1990, packagers of various types of content
   settled upon the Release iNFOrmation format (NFO, commonly pronounced
   "EN-foe" or "info") to describe their releases. An NFO file serves
   similar purposes to a README, but with several nuanced differences.
   NFOs usually contain release information about the media, rather than
   about software per-se. NFOs credit the releasers or packagers. Much
   like the Received: Internet Message header [RFC5322], intermediates
   ("couriers") can also insert NFOs.

   Most distinctly, NFOs have come to contain elaborate ASCII or ANSI
   artwork that is remarkable in its own right in the pantheon of the
   postmodern computing culture. Many NFOs have been authored with the
   intent of displaying them on a terminal display with monospaced,
   inverted text (black background, gray or off-white foreground); some
   NFOs even include escape sequences to generate animations or color.
   The widely accepted encoding for NFOs is "OEM Code Page 437", the
   character set of the original IBM PC and MS-DOS.

   When served in the same manner as plain text (text/plain), a lot of
   the elaborate artwork in NFOs is lost, garbled, or misaligned on
   display. As NFOs are still in considerable use, the goal of this
   registration is to rectify these interchange problems and reclaim
   this piece of living computer history.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2. Release iNFOrmation Media Type Registration Application

   Type name: text

   Subtype name: nfo

   Required parameters:

    charset: Per Section 4.2.1 of [RFC6838], charset is REQUIRED. Unlike
     most other text types, the default value is the character set of

Leonard                    Exp. May 19, 2018                    [Page 2]
Internet-Draft                iNFOrmation                  November 2017

     the original IBM PC and MS-DOS, called OEM Code Page 437, and named
     "oem437". Implementations MUST support OEM Code Page 437.
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